What are you doing with your BlackBerry PlayBook?

by Volker Weber


So you went to BlackBerry World and came back with a spanking new BlackBerry PlayBook. How are you using it? What exactly are you doing with it?

I am asking because I have a PlayBook that I am keeping for a week*. I have installed BlackBerry Bridge, so I can look at stuff that's on my BlackBerry. I could also tether it for mobile Internet access, but I don't want to task the data budget on the BlackBerry. So I connect via Wi-Fi, if necessary through an iPhone Personal Hotspot.

I don't have the full package. Just a naked device, a neoprene sleeve and a standard issue BlackBerry charger, not the PlayBook charger. No other dongles that would allow me to hook up a TV or beamer. I have downloaded and installed the FaceBook app. I have also watched a few short movies on the device that I copied over USB.

Frankly, I am a bit underwhelmed. So I am looking for reasons not to use iPad. What are you doing with this thing?

Here are a few must haves, that it does not have: Evernote, Dropbox, decent Twitter client, capable Facebook client. The BlackBerry is actually much better at Facebook and Twitter. The PlayBook would not even alert me of anything going on these platforms.

So far the PlayBook feels a bit like the Nokia N900. Without a phone.

*) No editor-refuses-to-give-it-back award.


Dropbox for PB: http://goo.gl/eSQe5

Martin Cygan, 2011-05-22

Visiting flash websites :)

The Facebook client is much better than the iOs facebook app, or going to facebook using the iOs browser !

But you are right, there is no "killer" app yet.

Bob Mariott, 2011-05-23

Gave mine to my teenage son. It's actually a very nice piece of kit but definitely short of apps. My son is looking forward to the Android support this summer.

Arthur Fontaine , 2011-05-23

I got one through the "free Playbook for developers" promotion. I've barely used it, compared to my iPad it just doesn't "feel" right.

Arthur - with the Android support, keep in mind the developer actually has to repackage their app for the Playbook, so most probably won't.

Marcin Szczepanski, 2011-05-23

We got from from RIM because our company has several hundred BB phones.

I like the feel of it, but I haven't spend that much time with an iPad.

I really love the navigation without the button, how you can swipe up or down from the edge. Typing is alright etc.

The Facebook app you can download is pretty good. Missing some features... but workable. I like the GeeReader to read my Google RSS feeds, pretty nice.

Watching videos and movies works nice and is what I do a lot.

Killer apps or more apps would be good.... and local mail of course...

Michael Kobrowski, 2011-05-23

Thanks for the GeeReader hint. While it works somewhat OK, I find it shows how unpolished apps on PlayBook might be:

The app uses a popup to display individual posts. It renders them in a different font, and it flashes (close/open) when you go to the next post. The buttons at the bottom double as navigation, because the developer did not know how to build a three pane view.

Check out Reeder on iPad for comparison.

Volker Weber, 2011-05-23

My Tip :

Try Feed Wheel as Google Reader.

Gives you more screen space for the articles and has a nice UI.

Oliver Barner, 2011-05-23

Feed Wheel seems quite nice, but AFAIR there is no chance sharing articles?

Tobias Ellersiek, 2011-05-23

Check out Pipeline News Reader
2,99$ with 14-day-trial

Tobias Ellersiek, 2011-05-23

I am reading news using the web browser, Feed Wheel and News360. For twitter I have to use the browser cause I can't get Tweedless to accept my twitter.com PIN. Beside this I am using the PlayBook to take videos and pictures. Through the HDMI connection they are easily shown on a large LCD TV. I am using BlackBerry Bridge to read longer emails and review documents. For Youtube the Playbook is a nice tool.

I haven't tried yet the Kobo book store nor have I used the MP3 store on the device to buy any music.

@Volker: In your article on heise mobil you mentioned that the Kindle app is already available. I wasn't able to locate the app in the App World. How did you install it?

Abdelkader Boui, 2011-05-24

There is no Kindle app. My editor was adding his dreams to my manuscript.

Volker Weber , 2011-05-24


the only fact which I did not ask Vowe or check by myself was wrong. I really thought that Amazon would be able to fulfill its promise from more than half a year ago.

And after reading a bit about Kobo I was disappointed that the playbook version is NOT able to sideload Epubs from other sources. In contrary to the android version... Does anyone know a way to read DRM ebooks on the playbook?

Sorry for believing and writing about a single fact without checking!!

btw: Is there a proven way to buy MP3s on the playbook?

Greetings, Joerg (jow)

Joerg Wirtgen, 2011-05-24

The PlayBook comes with an MP3 store from 7digital. I didn't have the need yet to purchase any music from the store. Does that answer your question, Joerg? :-)

Abdelkader Boui, 2011-05-24

Update: I have just created an account for the 7digital store on the PlayBook and bought the album 21 from Adele. The download is in progress while I am writing this. Hope this proves that buying MP3s is possible on the PlayBook.

Abdelkader Boui, 2011-05-24

Gute Anschaffung. ;-)

Volker Weber , 2011-05-24

It's so damn sad that all the publishing houses and movie studios are so fixed on DRM. MP3 should prove that there is a business without DRM. Hmm, but then again, Kindle shows that there is also a big business *with* DRM...

Especially here on the tablets it's a problem: A small platform like playbook can only be a success, if there is content and apps, and that for the masses, not only for the inviduals who can help themself from other sources.

Ok, thanx for your help!

Greeting, jow

Joerg Wirtgen, 2011-05-24

I have to correct my view on GeeReader:

While I thought that displaying the content in a pop-up is a waste
of sceen space I obviously oversaw that there is a possibility to
view the articles in full screen. Simply tap the top (blue) frame of
the pop-up.

What do I do with my Playbook ? Posting comments on vowe.net ;-)

Oliver Barner, 2011-05-24

Old vowe.net archive pages

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